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The acclaimed National Book Award winner gives us a collection of spellbinding new essays that, read together, form a jigsaw-puzzle portrait of an extraordinary man. With the publication of his best-selling Of Wolves and Men, and with the astonishing originality of Arctic Dreams, Barry Lopez established himself as that rare writer whose every book is an event, for both critics and his devoted readership. Now, in About This Life, he takes us on a literal and figurative journey across the terrain of autobiography, assembling essays of great wisdom and insight. Here is far-flung travel (the beauty of remote Hokkaido Island, the over-explored Galápagos, enigmatic Bonaire); a naturalist's contention (Why does our society inevitably strip political power from people with intimate knowledge of the land small-scale farmers, Native Americans, Eskimos, cowboys?); and pure adventure (a dizzying series of around-the-world journeys with air freight everything from penguins to pianos). And here, too, are seven exquisite memory pieces hauntingly lyrical yet unsentimental recollections that represent Lopez's most personal work to date, and which will be read as classics of the personal essay for years to come.In writing about nature and people from around the world, by exploring the questions of our age, and, above all, by sharing a new openness about himself, Barry Lopez gives us a book that is at once vastly erudite yet intimate: a magically written and provocative work by a major American writer at the top of his form.From the Hardcover edition.
A new collection of biographical essays by the esteemed writer ("Arctic Dreams, Of Wolves and Men", among other works). Seven of the 17 essays are personal memory pieces; the others touch on a wide range of travels, adventures, and observations of people and places.
The author travels through the American Southwest and Alaska, discussing endangered wildlife and forgotten cultures.
Tells the story of when people and animals spoke the same language. Two young men left their tribe to make an adventurous voyage through the wilderness, into the unknown northland. Set in the mythic past and inspired by the traditions of the North American Plains people, this fable of self-discovery follows Crow and Weasel as they face unfamiliar perils on a quest for knowledge and wisdom. Conquering their innermost fears, the two heroes come of age and learn more than they ever could have imagined--about humanity's relationship to the land, the importance of respecting other peoples and giving thanks, and even the very nature of friendship itself.
In this new collection of twelve stories, one of our most admired writers evokes the longing we feel for beauty in our relationships with one another, with the past. with nature. In these stories, we find men or women -- sometimes at odds with themselves, sometimes transcendently well grounded -- who have an experience that is profound, unsettling, and oddly liberating. In "Empira's Tapestry." a gravely ill woman begins to weave a luminous cloth in which is expressed all of the fervent desire she had for her life ... In "Homecoming," a botanist has become so caught up with his academic ambitions that he forgets the names of the wildflowers in his own woods until his young daughter re-teaches him ... And in "The Entreaty of the Wiideema," an anthropologist traveling with an aboriginal people finds that, because of his aggressive desire to understand them, they remain for him always disturbingly unknowable.These spare, haunting fictions, building cumulatively on each other, are marked by those qualities we have found in all of Barry Lopez's writing: a sense of the magic and marvelous strangeness of the world, respect for disparate ways of knowing and being, compassion for the human predicament, and a vibrant hope that comes from being alert and attentive to the complex beauties of landscape.Field Votes is the final book of a loosely connected trilogy that includes Desert Notes (1976) and River Notes (1979) and stands with the best of Barry Lopez's remarkably varied work.From the Hardcover edition.
In this new collection of 12 stories, one of our most admired writers evokes the longing we feel for beauty in our relationships with one another, with the past and with nature. In these stories, we find men or women -- sometimes at odds with themselves, sometimes transcendentally well grounded -- who have an experience that is profound, unsettling, and oddly liberating. These spare, haunting fictions, building cumulatively on each other, are marked by those qualities we have found in all of Barry Lopez's writing: a sense of the magic and marvelous strangeness of the world, respect for disparate ways of knowing and being, compassion for the human predicament, and a vibrant hope that comes from being alert and attentive to the complex beauties of landscape. In "Empira's Tapestry." a gravely ill woman begins to weave a luminous cloth in which is expressed all of the fervent desire she had for her life ... In "Homecoming," a botanist has become so caught up with his academic ambitions that he forgets the names of the wildflowers in his own woods until his young daughter re-teaches him ... Field Votes is the final book of a loosely connected trilogy that includes Desert Notes (1976) and River Notes (1979) and stands with the best of Barry Lopez's remarkably varied work.
The western mindset is arguably one of the greatest threats to the world's ecological balance. Corporatism and globalization are two of the obvious villains here, but what part does human nature play in the problem? Since its inception in 1982, "Orion" Magazine has been a forum for looking beyond the effects of ecological crises to their root causes in human culture. Less an anthology than a vision statement, this timely collection challenges the division of human society from the natural world that has often characterized traditional environmentalism. Edited and introduced by Barry Lopez, "The Future of Nature" encompasses such topics as local economies, the social dynamics of activism, America's incarceration society, naturalism in higher education, developing nations, spiritual ecology, the military-industrial landscape, and the persistent tyranny of wilderness designation. Featuring the fine writing and insights for which "Orion" is famous, this book is required reading for anyone interested in a livable future for the planet.
A young man journeys through the arctic wilderness to find a family of wolverine and learn more about their mysterious power. At the time the story opens the narrator is working as an airplane mechanic in northeast Alaska.
Moving from fable and historical fiction to contemporary realism, this book of stories from Barry Lopez is erotic and wise, full of irresistible characters doing things they shouldn't do for reasons that are mysterious and irreducible. In "The Letters of Heaven," a packet of recently discovered 17th-century Peruvian love letters presents a 20th-century man with the paralyzing choice of either protecting or exposing their stunning secret. When some young boys on the lookout for easy money get caught with a truckload of stolen horses, thievery quickly turns into redemption. For a group of convicts, a gathering of birds in the prison yard may be the key to transcendence, both figurative and literal. And, with the title story, Lopez enters a territory of unmitigated evil reminiscent of Conrad. Here are saints who shouldn't touch, but do; sinners who insist on the life of the spirit; a postcard paradise that turns into nightmare.Light Action in the Caribbean has already been hailed by Russell Banks as "tough-minded, emotionally turbulent, and always intelligent." E. Annie Proulx describes these stories as "subtle and mysterious" and says that a reader "cannot leave Lopez's fictional territory unchanged." This is a book that breaks exciting new ground for Barry Lopez.From the Hardcover edition.
From the author of the National Book Award-winning "Arctic Dreams" comes a masterful work of fiction, a collection of 12 stories that balances the marvelous and the real, intellect and heart, with extraordinary grace. Set variously in Peru, Chile, the Caribbean, California, and the American West, here are tales of men and women exploring the landscapes of their own innocence and desire; confronting violence, estrangement, and the disillusionment of war; or encountering the hope, fierce integrity, defiance, and wisdom of others. A packet of recently discovered seventeenth-century Peruvian love letters presents a twentieth-century man with the paralyzing choice of either protecting or exposing their stunning secret. A man's encounter with a young deaf girl ("eerie in her stillness and independence") rearranges his notions of pity. When some young boys on the lookout for easy money get caught with a truckload of stolen horses, their fates raise questions of justice and redemption. For a group of convicts, a gathering of birds in the prison yard may be the key to transcendence, both figurative and literal. Here are saints who shouldn't touch, but do; sinners who insist on the life of the spirit; a postcard paradise that turns into a nightmare.
Five hundred years ago an Italian whose name, translated into English, meant Christopher Dove, came to America and began a process not of discovery, but incursion -- "a ruthless, angry search for wealth" that continues to the present day. This provocative and superbly written book gives a true assessment of Columbus's legacy while taking the first steps toward its redemption. Even as he draws a direct line between the atrocities of Spanish conquistadors and the ongoing pillage of our lands and waters, Barry Lopez challenges us to adopt an ethic that will make further depredations impossible. The Rediscovery of North America is a ringingly persuasive call for us, at long last, to make this country our home.From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the National Book Award-winning author of Arctic Dreams, a highly charged, stunningly original work of fiction-a passionate response to the changes shaping our country today. In nine fictional testimonies, men and women who have resisted the mainstream and who are now suddenly "parties of interest" to the government tell their stories.A young woman in Buenos Aires watches bitterly as her family dissolves in betrayal and illness, but chooses to seek a new understanding of compassion rather than revenge. A carpenter traveling in India changes his life when he explodes in an act of violence out of proportion to its cause. The beginning of the end of a man's lifelong search for coherence is sparked by a Montana grizzly. A man blinded in the war in Vietnam wrestles with the implications of his actions as a soldier-and with innocence, both lost and regained.Punctuated with haunting images by acclaimed artist Alan Magee, Resistance is powerful fiction with enormous significance for our times.From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Lopez has such great narrative skill and uses his words so carefully the simple intensity is often nearly overwhelming. " --The Oregonian. Barry Lopez is an unparalleled explorer of the relationship between humanity and nature, one he limns in prose as beautiful as it is economical. His essays and short fiction have appeared everywhere from Outside to Harper's and The Paris Review. He is the winner of a 1986 National Book Award for his bestselling Arctic Dreams. Vintage Lopez is divided into two parts, nonfiction and fiction. It includes "Landscape and Narrative"; the prologue to Arctic Dreams; and such classic short stories "The Entreaty of the Wiideema" and "The Mappist." Also included, for the first time in book form, the essay "The Naturalist."
"Animals and landscapes have not had this weight, this precision, in American fiction since Hemingway's young heroes were fishing the streams of upper Michigan and Spain."
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